Large vegetation fire near Queenstown contained

Fri, Jan 20

Fire crews have worked this morning to contain a large fire in Long Gully, Coronet Peak, about an hour east of Queenstown.

The perimeter was secured by crews and has burnt about 12 hectares of retired farm land and dead trees. It broke out just after 6pm on Thursday.

Fire and Emergency incident controller Nic McQuillan says they are using ground crews and two helicopters to work to dampen down hot spots.

"There is not much visible flame now, but there is a lot of heat in the ground so the crews are working hard to cool things down and reduce the potential for fire to reignite this afternoon when the winds are forecast to rise."

Two fire investigators have attended the scene to determine the cause of the fire.

Skippers Road was closed on Thursday and will remain closed while the fire is being controlled.

A 10-day mountain bike race is set to take place close to the fire today, with FENZ working alongside event organisers to ensure riders stay off closed trails.

"The mountain bike trails close to the fire include the Skippers Pack Track, which is affected by the fire, the Coronet Loop below Greengate Saddle, the Pack Track and Sack Trail and Atleys Terrace Track."

The scene of the fire on Friday morning.

The area is currently under a prohibited fire season, which is a total ban on all outdoor fires and means all previous fire permits have been cancelled.

Fire and Emergency NZ issued two prohibited fire seasons in other parts of the South Island on Friday, both in place until further notice.

Restrictions are in place for Otago's upper Waitaki and Clutha zones.

FENZ community risk manager James Knapp says it doesn't take much to start a large fire.

"It only takes one spark to cause a wildfire, so please do your bit this summer to take care of Upper Waitaki."

Fire and Emergency is urging people to check what restrictions may be in place for them before starting a fire.